Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My Liquor Cabinet

Being a Christian, I don't believe one should ever drink to get drunk, however I am not of the opinion that all alcohol is evil. God created the fruit of the vine, presumably for man's enjoyment; wine is the sign and symbol of the new Covenant in Christ. If alcoholism is a problem for present company, I will abstain to protect their conscience. Since it is not a stumbling block for me personally, I see no reason to abstain when surrounded by like-minded individuals.

My DH and I don't drink regularly - he doesn't like the taste of alcohol, and I can't stand the bitterness of beer, nor the harshness of hard liquor. I do, however, enjoy a smooth Merlot or sweet Zinfandel with social dinners. I also love the distinct flavour liquers give to desserts (ie. Tiramisu), which can't be achieved any other way.

I've been drooling over those recipes for quite some time. I hadn't thought of actually going out and purchasing my own liqueur for baking. My alcohol purchases were limited to some rum (high school; mixed with fresh-picked, mashed strawberries) and an occasional Merlot for my parents. I guess I was stuck in a pre-legal, living-with-parents mindset. Stocking a liquor cabinet was my Dad's domain; if I needed 2T of Brandy for my chocolate truffles, I'd just ask him. Unfortunately, living 12k away isn't conducive to borrowing ingredients... I had to bite the bullet and go to the LCBO; I had to start my own liquor cabinet.

DH, not being a drinker, isn't too impressed that I'm interested in baking things with an alcohol content. He likes my Tiramisu, but says he would prefer it without the bite of alcohol. The cost is another thing he could do without (my DH is a very practical man ;P ). I have to admit that paying $15 for less than a litre of certain liqueurs was rather difficult. I reasoned that I only needed a small amount for each recipe, so although the initial cost was quite high, replacement costs would be spread out.

I Googled "stock your bar" or something similar, and found a few well laid out sites detailing the good options for starting your liquor cabinet - The Webtender & Drink Boy. I was mainly concerned with baking supplies, so I didn't need most of the harder stuff like Gin, Tequila or Whisky. I did, however, have a number of recipes that required Brandy, Rum, Orange Liqueur, etc.. So off I went to the Rideau LCBO (one of the largest ones in the area), where I spent over half an hour perusing the aisle, trying to figure out which liqueur, which brand and which size. I tried to limit my selcetion to the smallest available bottle for now, so DH doesn't think I've gone off the deep end ;) Unfortunately, that means I'm paying a bit more per mL, but until I know what I use most often, I think that's the best idea. In hindsight, the bottle of Kahlua I picked up was far too small, so I'll have to get the next size up, at least.

I've decided to keep track of my modest liquor cabinet, so I can quickly reference it while browsing for recipe ideas, and keep track of what I want to buy, or have run out of.

(Category, <--- Notes, Currently Have, Want to Buy)

Brandy <--- Truffles
St. Remy Napoleon




Marsala (sweet) <--- Tiramisu
Sperone Cremovo Fine

Marsala (dry) <--- Tiramisu (old)
Sperone Fine I.P. Fine

Rum (gold)
Appleton Estate <--- Not fond of it

Run (dark)

Coffee Liqueur <--- Tiramisu
Kahlua - running low
- buy at least 750 mL
, $26

Orange Liqueur
Grand Marnier
Triple Sec

Almond Liqueur
Disaronno Amaretto

Crème de Cacao

Crème de Menthe

Irish Cream

Other Liqueurs
Cherry, Maraschino Cherry
Wild Elderberry


Click Here To Learn More said...

What does this verse mean?

Proverbs 23:31-32 "Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper."

Elaine said...

Although I agree that drunkeness is not good, as I have stated before, I personally do not struggle with drinking. The Bible does not say that alcohol is sinful, but that excessive drinking to the point of intoxication is.

Jesus' first miracle was turning the water into wine. The Lord Himself drank wine, and it is representative of His blood in the New Covenant. The "fruit of the vine" is a good thing - unfortunately, all good things become sinful when taken in excess.

I have a glass of wine when dining with friends and family, and enjoy the exotic tastes alcohol can bring to cooking and baking (Tiramisu). However, we are told that we should be careful around our weaker brothers, that we should not lead them into sin. For if you, in your weakness believe drinking to be sinful, then I should not encourage you to drink, for then your will be sinning against your conscience.

I honestly don't have the experience to properly respond to your post. I would hope I have demonstrated in my writing that I am not prone to ungodly behaviour, or thoughtless actions. I would also hope that you are genuinely concerned about my relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. However, your approach is very impersonal - you used an anonymous tag and wrote only a Scripture verse, with a link to an anti-drinking site. This leaves me to believe that you care more about your cause than the people you are reaching out to.

Without a personal relationship with the people you are trying to help, your words are empty. Instead of searching though Christian blogs trying to find the tiniest infraction and then inserting a quick verse, try taking the time to get to know people - discover what their true weaknesses are, rather than promoting your own personal agenda.

Are you even sure I have a saving relationship with Jesus? Without that knowledge, you're putting a dirty bandaid on a gaping bullethole.

Audrey said...

This is a great list. I don't have a liquor cabinet yet, so I'm always passing up those recipes that call for liqueurs. I am not sure how long these liqueuers will keep once the bottle is opened. Do they go bad after a while? I'd hate to buy a whole bottle of something to use a few T. and then have the rest go off.

Elaine said...

Hi there!

My Dad has had some liqueurs in his cabinet for 30+ years. That's the joy of alcohol -- it's a preservative. As long as it's kept dark and cool, it should keep for many years. I'm still unsure about drinks with dairy/eggs, though, so I'd be careful with them. Sweet Marsala, Godiva, Amarula, Irish Cream and the Eggnog-type drink I got my Dad from Guatemala all fall under that category. Keeping them in the fridge after opening would definitely be advisable, but for how long? I'd have to look into it, or ask a bartender?